Tag Archives: Graphic Design

Sean Breasley’s Halloween Pumpkin 2013


Vector Illustration produced by Sean Breasley, 2013

Hey Everyone,

So a couple of weeks ago, Sean designed a Pumpkin Skull specifically for Halloween, this is my favourite piece so far. The texture does provide an interesting effect, the shape of the pumpkin appears rather sinister, although the use of colour definitely adds a level of vibrancy!

All the different lines provide a unique composition, the pumpkin does appear distressed and deteriorated, which actually suits the theme of Halloween. In a way, the pumpkin features a wrinkly appearance, for some particular reason the image reminds me of Nightmare on Elm Street, which is a rather strange correlation!

The circular patterns and designs also provide a level of depth to the image, the circular shapes behind the pumpkin also adds another interesting element to the overall design,

Sean does create a range of vibrant vector illustrations that are inspired by the depiction of the human skull in contemporary art, design and popular culture. Sean also assists me with the Black Calavera blog and Facebook page, today I thought I would write about Sean’s illustration as they primarily focus upon the image of the skull.

If you would like to view Sean’s collection, then I would definitely recommend visiting Sean’s WordPress site or you can either view the Black Calavera Facebook page.

That’s everything for now, stay tuned for further updates!




Tarot Grenache, 2009 by Alpha Box & Dice


So yesterday I decided to go out for lunch in Geelong and right opposite the cafe was a unique liquor store named Randal’s, which is located at the very end of Packington Street. What I do like about Randal’s is the fact that you can find a range of good quality wine, cinder and beer that isn’t available at the local liquor store or the supermarket. You know it’s always nice to have a change from time to time!

While I was browsing through the selection, I eventually discovered a very interesting bottle of wine. Tarot Grenache, 2009 is produced by Alpha Box & Dice in South Australia; I was very impressed with the label on the very front of the bottle. The label features a unique design and the multicoloured skulls immediately captured my attention, I picked up the bottle just to examine the detail.

The label also features a snake wrapped around a Giant Capital T that features a range of different colours, patterns and designs. In fact, the label does feature similarities to a tarot card, which does add a creative and artistic edge to the design. Ok so you’re properly thinking, what does the wine even taste like? well the first couple of sips was quite strong, overpowering, even bitter, although I’ve never really tried Grenache until this particular moment in time.


I wasn’t overly keen on the taste of the wine, which was rather surprising as I was expecting something smooth and palatable. While the label is rather inspiring and imaginative, the wine itself does take a while to get used to.  I absolutely love anything related to skulls so there was no way I could have walked out of Randal’s without buying this bottle of wine. It’s not everyday you see skulls printed onto a wine bottle, this is what makes the label so extraordinary!

So the next question, you will properly ask is….would you really rely on the label or the design of the bottle to determine whether you were actually buying decent quality wine? I remember walking into a supermarket and buying a bottle of wine with four sheep jumping a fence, while the wine was absolutely dreadful, at least the Tarot Grenache wasn’t quite as bad as this experience.

I’ve always assumed that the design would indicate that the wine was high quality, I suppose this is the time where you actually read the bottle before you make the final purchase. What fascinates me about the Tarot Grenache is the reference to death and the human skull, especially in the label, I actually discovered a short statement on the bottle that captured my interest.

The label by Alpha Box & Dice states, “The card that has the face of death – fear? No! Let the changes sweep over you, like the blade cuts away dead wood to allow fresh fruit to spring forth”. This wasn’t the best wine I have ever had, although the advertising and the graphic design is very clever! It’s actually interesting to see the way the skull is used in alcohol packaging, what else can I say really? The skull still appears to be one of the most popular symbols in advertising and product design!


URL Links



Ben Sanders, Skull Thief

Last week, the Australian Centre of Moving Image presented the second annual creative arts conference in Melbourne, known as Field Trip. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the conference this year, although I did manage to get my hands on a catalogue with all the different artists and illustrators that have presented their work at the event.

Ok so I have been to the very first field trip in 2012 and it was great to listen to all the artists, photographers, illustrators, animators and film makers from around the world! I was actually sitting on the edge of my set frantically writing ideas in my note pad, the guest speakers were very inspiring, in fact I was inspired for the entire weekend after Field Trip.

While I was browsing through the latest catalogue, I recognised the works of Ben Sanders, an artist / illustrator based in Melbourne, Victoria. Sanders illustrations are renowned within the advertising industry and the artist has worked for many international corporations such as Vodaphone, Visa, Libra and Time Magazine.

There is one illustration in particular that has captured my attention, Sander’s “skull thief” features the shape of a human skull that is juxtaposed with a dark, textured surface. This two-dimensional skull does feature a very interesting design and the curves invite me to take a closer look at the image. In fact I discovered something rather remarkable the night before, I suddenly realised that the illustration features two different images!

If you take a closer look at Sander’s illustration, you will recognise a dark figure holding a very large sack behind his shoulders. Honestly, I have been looking at this particular illustration for the past few days and I didn’t even realise the ambiguous figure within the very centre of the image. Sander’s illustration is rather clever, the artist has used the shape of the skull to create a dark silhouette of a person carrying some kind of bag or sack.

I began to question how does the skull relates to the figure within the image? According to Sander’s official website and blog, “Skull Thief” reflects a particular moment in time, where museums were taking skeletal remains from “indigenous communities” and preserving them as artefacts within their own establishment, the story was also mentioned in the Australian Geographic who have released a very interesting article in relation to these ethical and cultural issues.

Scott Mitchell from the Australian Geographic believes that the Museums should return the skeletal remains to the ‘indigenous communities’ who have been affected by these practises or procedures. In the article, “Return Aboriginal Sacred Objects”, Scott Mitchell quotes “The first is the active trade in Aboriginal sacred objects. Search online and you are almost guaranteed to find pictures of objects for sale – a distressing violation of cultural protocol”.

In a way, I do agree with Mitchell’s argument, as the skull for instance can contain social and cultural ‘value’, the skull has the power to reflect a person’s identity, this is also mentioned in Mitchell’s article on the National Geographic Website.

So this leads me to my next question….is this a form of grave robbing? Well yes it is, these museums were taking something that did not belong to them in the first place! 

Once you begin to examine Sander’s illustration, you’ll suddenly begin to realise that the image does tell a story, a story that reflects the loss of cultural integrity  across many aboriginal communities, where the skeletal remains are removed and restored as artefacts within Western society.

In fact, I find Sanders illustration so intriguing, I just cannot stop reading about this subject, the juxtaposition between the skull and the mysterious figure does successfully communicates these issues within a creative and innovative manner. 

For more information please click on the URL links below.

Ben Sanders Website: http://www.bensanders.com.au/

Ben Sanders Blog: http://bensillustrations.blogspot.com.au/search?q=skull

Mitchell, Scott, “Opinion Return Sacred Objects”, The Australian Geographic, 2012, accessed 17/4/12, http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/should-museums-hold-aboriginal-sacred-objects.htm

Jessie Riches Part II


Vampire Girl, Jessie Riches

A few months ago, I discovered the works of Jessie Riches while I was walking through the shopping centre in Geelong. Ok I know this is a pretty strange place to find an artwork, although I have recognised a painting by Jessie Riches in the front window of a book store. I’m not entirely sure whether Riches artwork was reproduced for display purposes, although I must admit the painting featured some extraordinary colours and designs.

The painting features the skull and cross-bones juxtaposed with a dark green background along with decorative patterns and designs. I would always walk past this particular book store and I always wondered who had actually created this painting / design, one day I decided to actually stop at the front window and I recognised Jessie Riches’s signature at the very bottom.

Unfortunately I have taken a photograph with my old phone and for some reason I never saved the actual image. Anyway, I decided to research Jessie Riches on the internet at home and I discovered that the skull was a popular image within the artist’s work. According to Riche’s website, the artist has worked with watercolour, acrylic, pencil, digital media and graphic design, Riches is also a tattoo artist and I have realised that these particular designs do provide a unique aesthetic.

In a way, Riches has merged her tattoo designs with her graphic / digital art, Riches’s “Vampire Girl” for instance, features a rather obscure character who is composed with two cartoonish skulls that are placed within the centre of the image. The remainder of the image features intricate patterns and designs that creates a strong contrast with the mysterious character; the juxtaposition between the rose, the skull and the tombstones may symbolise the border between life and death.

The illustration also reminds me of tattoo art especially the juxtaposition between the skull and the rose; these two particular designs do appear very popular within the tattoo industry; I must admit, most of the tattoos I have seen either feature a rose, a skull or a dragon. Riches work also features very strong, vibrant colours that emphasises the detail within the background, such as the graveyard and the tombstones.

In fact Vampire Girl does feature a high level of detail, each time I view this particular illustration, I always find something interesting or fascinating. There is an obvious connection between the vampire, the graveyards and the skulls, although I do not fully understand how the rat or the tarot / playing cards relate to the other elements within the image. Actually this is a good thing, if everything was obvious there would be nothing new to discover, the ambiguity invites me to take another closer look at Riche’s artwork.

The visual aesthetic, the subject matter and the meaning is surreal, even the vampire’s long pointy ears and her sharp teeth feature very surreal characteristics. Jessie Riches’s has produced some extraordinary work and some intriguing designs; I would recommend visiting the artist’s website for more information. If you would like to read the first half of the story, please click on the link below/



New Skull Printed T-Shirt from Jay Jays

Jay Jays Recent T-Shirt Collection

Over the weekend, I discovered a range of skull printed t-shirts in Jay Jays, a popular clothes store that sells a range of jackets, shirts, dresses, skirts and other fashion accessories. As soon as I entered the store, I walked straight towards the men’s section and purchased a black and white t-shirt with decorative illustrations printed onto the base of the skull.

There’s something about skull t-shirts that I just can’t resist, some of the designs are very creative! The very first item I remove from my wardrobe is one of my skull printed t-shirts, they just compliment everything else I wear throughout the day; plus I am interested in almost anything that is skull related as you can tell by now.


So I have noticed that Jay Jays continually rotate their stock every couple of months and that means one thing….new skull printed t-shirts to buy! In the men’s section, most of the t-shirts are well designed and they are reasonably priced, unfortunately there aren’t as many skull t-shirts within the women’s section. The designs or the illustrations are not as interesting or creative; I just purchase extra, extra small t-shirts from the men’s department, it’s easier than hunting through all the women’s t-shirts hoping to find some interesting and practical to wear.

It’s almost impossible to buy a skull printed t-shirt in my size, why aren’t they supplied in the women’s department? This has been a constant dilemma, I usually have to shrink most of my t-shirts in the wash, not that I really mind too much, as long as the t-shirt features an interesting pattern on the front, I am quite content.

Does the skull attract more of a male audience than a female audience? I have asked this question many times before, I am convinced that the skill attracts both a male and female demographic. I have spoken to women who have said there were unable to find a decent skull printed t-shirt available in their size, in a way the skull often features masculine qualities especially in Western popular culture.


It’s not everyday you see the women’s department saturated with skull printed t-shirts with colourful and artistic designs, you have to hunt through the speciality stores in the side alley ways in order to find what you’ve been desperately been searching for, a skull t-shirt that is not a tank top or a see through shirt, just a normal t-shirt with an awesome, creative design on the front!

Anyway, Jay Jays is fantastic for men’s t-shirts, especially if you are looking for a skull printed t-shirt at an affordable price. Check out their website for more information.


Mictlancihuatl, 2012 by Sean Breasley


Print by Sean Breasley. The Frame is Straight I was too short to take a Photo of the Whole Image.

3/1/2013 – Illustration of Mictlantecuhitl as Christmas Present

On Christmas I had received an original print from my boyfriend, Sean Breasely who is a talented illustrator and a graphic designer. When I had first seen the drawing last year, I was impressed with the level of detail, just to see the way the drawing was produced in illustrator was quite incredible.


What amazes me, is the fact that each individual skull features a unique style and characteristic; the detail provides each skull with it’s own personality. Each skull is used to compose the shape of the woman’s hair; her pale face contrasts with the animated skulls and their lively facial expressions.


Sean has explained that the illustration was inspired by my own research project, “Black Calavera” where I had used makeup to replicate the Mexican sugar skulls  within a Western / European context via black and white photography. I must admit, the illustration does look like me, even the shape of the nose! In fact, I am impressed with the overall design.


Even though I have watched Sean create the illustration on the computer, I was quite pleased to see a large print that was wrapped in colourful christmas paper.
As soon as I saw the print under the miniature christmas tree, I was utterly delighted!


As soon as I unwrapped the print, I asked myself where I would hang this lovely print I have received. Well this is a good question because most of the space of my wall has been covered with posters, artworks, magazine covers and photographs. Well of course I had to make some room, but I decided to place the print opposite my bed and because I am short it has been placed at the ideal height, which is also a bonus.


The print has become a memento, the image reminds me of the research and the work I have produced last year as part of my university project. It is nice to have an original artwork on the wall; something that reminds me of my own research project. The work is also titled, “Mictlancihuatl” who is the goddess of death in Aztec Mythology, this is a concept I have explored throughout my project and I am pleased to see such an elaborate illustration on my very own wall.


I would recommend visiting Sean’s blog, there is some great work on display at the moment. Please click on the URL link for further information.



Future Music Festival 2013, Day of the Dead Set Awesome


Future Music Festival Logo / Advertisement

28/12/12 – The Day of the Dead comes to the Future Music Festival in 2013

Around Melbourne I have recognised these bright pink posters with a white skull in the centre of the image, I had soon realised that these posters are advertising the next Future Music Festival in 2013 that is held at the Flemington Racecourse each year. The letters from the alphabet are used for the eye sockets, nose and mouth; while the logo is quite simple, the skull is very effective on a large-scale.

Every year, Future Music create a new logo and a completely different style for their website as well as their product banding. This is quite a clever idea, as they are updating their event and advertising with all the latest trends. Well as we all know by now, the skull has become extremely popular in fashion, advertising and product design, so it’s no surprise that Future Music Festival have used the skull for their own branding.


Skeletal Figures from Future Music Video Clip

The skull also features a unique style, typography is used to create a basic outline of the skull, now that’s creative if you ask me. I decided to search for Future music Festival on the Internet, when I clicked onto their official website I had realised that Future Music Festival have decided to go with a Day of the Dead theme.

In fact the subtitle for the event is called “Day of the Dead – Set Awesome” that also accompanies a skull with love hearts for cross-bones. The graphics are very creative and innovative, I would instantly buy a t-shirt with the logo printed to the front! Even the website is awesome, the layout is definitely well designed, all I can say is….the Future Music Festival must have a very clever graphic design / advertising team. The website also features a small video clip that features animated skeletons dancing in a deserted town, playing musical instruments.

The animation is impressive, as soon as I viewed the clip I immediately wanted to buy a ticket. The very start of the clip features an image of a skull floating around in space, the scene reminds me of an 80’s Sci Fi Film that immediately jumps to a dusty town with skeletal figures jumping up and down to electronic / dance music. In fact, the video clip is so good, I’ve replayed it about 6 times now and i cannot stop talking about it. The idea of actually attending a Day of the Dead music event, just makes me almost fall off my chair in excitement!


Well Future Music Festival are definitely keeping up with the trends, as the Day of the Dead is becoming extremely popular in Melbourne. The other day I had witnessed another Mexican restaurant that has recently opened for business. With all the shops, restaurants, cafes and gallery spaces in the city it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Day of the Dead has become a growing interest, especially within the streets of Melbourne.

I am intrigued to see how the Day of the Dead is portrayed in this music event, it’ll be interesting to see what the other attendees think of Mexico’s annual celebration. Nova’s website has also announced that the Future Music Festival will be “Mexican themed”, I just hope they have good tacos. Gosh it sounds like I’ve already bought the tickets, although it would take a lot of will power to turn down this event! How can anyone turn down a Day of the Dead themed music festival?

For information about the 2013 lineup and the ticket prices, click on the link below to visit the official website.



Image URL Links: 




City Slickers Exhibition

25/6/12 – Greg Darroll

There is no  specific information about the artist, although Greg Darroll has created some contemporary illustrations or designs with the image of the skull. The images were discovered through another blog, which displays the artist’s work. Darroll’s illustrations are very well designed and the images feature bold compositions or aesthetics, which invites one to view the skull from another perspective.

Darroll’s skulls appear similar to cartoon or comic strips, through the use of colour and shade, which provides each image with a two-dimensional quality. The stylised figures also feature striking characteristics, which efficiently composes an interesting representation of the skull. Darroll’s work was featured in the City Slickers exhibition in Cape Town, which also displays a range of designers or illustrators who reflect urban or street culture.

City Slickers Blog: http://cityslickers-exhibition.blogspot.com.au/ 

 Image Citation: http://www.behance.net/gallery/City-Slickers-Exhibition-Cape-Town/541205

Check this work out! Very awesome work indeed 🙂

Art and Stuff

This is an old illustration I did back in 2009 after hearing how coke is used as a cleaning product. It was interesting to me that we ingest something that has the ability to clean floors, etc. Makes me wonder as to why we would want to drink this. So anyway the concept of this piece was that coke kills everything, a simple message.

With this work I was also experimenting with different colour themes and for this one I wanted it to be very vibrant colours that drew the eye to everything around the main central image as opposed to the central image being the hero of the work. Overall I’m quite happy with how the colours turned out and how the overall composition is.

I hope you enjoy this.

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Ekaterina Murysina

21/6/12 – Missing Personality (Death)

A classmate had sent me an image of Ekaterina Murysina’s amazing skull via Facebook.  The artist’s online CV explains that Murysina is an illustrator who has studied multimedia, animation and design.

Murysina’s website also provides an artist’s statement in relation to the illustration of the skull. The work questions the artist’s own interpretations of death, which also reflects the death of a relative and a close friend.

One could argue that Murysina has applied exceptional colour, line and texture to the image, which invites one to gaze into the spirals or the circular patterns. The warm colours with the pink overtones exemplifies the shape or the tone of the skull, which is positioned within the centre of the image.

The skull is composed with two woman who appear subconscious or immortal. The two women clutch on the circular patterns like a piece of fabric, which drapes from the skull’s eye socket. Perhaps the image provides a juxtaposition between youth, beauty and death.

The patterns or the spirals do appear similar to strands of hair, which may reflect the artists encounters with the death of her grandmother.  One could argue that the artist has included certain characteristics from her grandmother and her friend with the image of the skull in order to represent Mursyina encounters with death.

The patterns may suggest that there is another world or dimension, which exceeds beyond human life, which may encourage the viewer to closely observe the spirals. The skull conceals the face like a mask, which may reflect the artists own perception of death or mortality.

Ekaterina Murysina, “Curriculum Vitae”, Ekaterine Murysina Website, http://murysina.com/Curriculum-Vitae (Accessed 21/6/12)

Image from website, http://murysina.com/Curriculum-Vitae